Keeping my store environmentally friendly has always been something that I am passionate about.
I will always struggle with that the silicone breast enhancers themselves are not recyclable, but I hope this will change in the future, and it is why I work on making top-quality products. I don't like to go along the lines of other stores, with cheaper products, even if those cheaper prices do mean it attracts more customers. Instead, I would rather spend more in manufacturing the products, so I can not only make the manufacturing process as environmentally friendly as possible, but also make products that are designed to perform well and last as long as possible.
I do my best with small changes as often as I can make them:
I have always recycled all the business waste possible.
I moved to fully recyclable Jo Thornton labels in 2011
Not long after I introduced recyclable tissue paper packaging as the packaging that most of my products go out in. I knew that most customers would not doubt that they could recycle tissue paper and paper recycling is on of the things we are best at out of all recycling types.
I added natural cotton organza bags and fully recyclable cardboard boxes as other product options, later that year, rather than plastic based bags.
In 2013 I made my fashion tape rolls have recyclable backing and a recyclable inner roll.
I took active steps in 2014 to audit all my storage and I now only use cardboard and wooden storage in all my storage areas.
My mailing bags have always been recyclable for the bigger sizes and biodegradable for the smaller sizes. Technology has moved on in this area, so I am working with a factory to make bags just for me that will dissolve to Co2, water and eco-friendly biomass. They will use vegetable inks and there will be no residue left of the bag but those compounds, and this is the most eco-friendly option that is available. These are nearly finalised and will be packaging your goodies very soon.
My next steps:
My next step is to look at the bags that all my tapes come in. The problem that I have is that the tape is adhesive, so I am unable to use a paper or cotton based back as the tape will remove some of that packaging and be hard for you to remove. I am going to try other biodegradable plastic types to see if I can get one that ticks all the boxes.
I will also continue to check for biodegradable jiffy bags. At the moment the only ones available are the padded bags with shredded paper in and these are often not recyclable as the fibres clog the machines when they break open. I will keep checking to find a bag where the bubble wrap lining is made of biodegradable plastic, or see if some other options appear as an option. For now, I will try to use cardboard boxes whenever possible, but as these are around 6 times the price, it can be very difficult whilst keeping my prices low for my customers.
I am glad to see the sway in thinking towards protecting the environment and I will always do all I can to do the best I can.
The breast form stock situation has been going on longer than I wanted it to, so I just want to update you all about where I am at.
I decided a couple of months ago to make some changes to my breast forms shapes, and to increase the thickness of the back on the breast forms in order to help with using the tape with them. I thought this would be like one of my normal tweaks, but it turns out I was wrong! This is what has happened
I looked at customer feedback for the shapes and did some slightly edited designs.
I brought in more boobylicious tape, and the feedback was great. Quite a few customers said that a thicker breast form back would really help when removing the tape. This makes absolute sense, and with the extra pressure put on the back of the breast forms, make them stronger too.
I chatted to my factory and we started working on the new designs. It all seemed to be going really well!
Once the moulds for the breast forms were made, we found out that the thicker back was not possible with the kind of machinery the factory has. By this stage, I was really determined that this is the best way forward for my breast forms. I've tried working hard with the factory to make it work, but it has failed.
Undeterred, I have chatted to one of my other factories which make my smaller breast enhancers, and they felt ready to take this step with me, which is very exiting! They share my vision and have the machinery needed to make it a reality, so we just needed to make the moulds. We made a prototype and it was fabulous!
The moulds have now all been designed for all the styles now, apart from teardrop 2.
Finally, we are getting there!
Production is now beginning on teardrop style 1, pear, round and triangle. These will be made first, and sent out asap.
The final design and moulds will begin soon for teardrop style 2. These will then be made ASAP and in my store as soon as I can get them in there.
This process has been so much longer than I planned.
Thank you SO MUCH for your patience and I promise that it will be worth it. The new forms will be soft and supple, strong and designed to sit perfectly, so that I have a perfect option for everyone. I knew that if it was worth doing, it was worth doing well and that you would all trust me, even if it took time, to get it right for you.
In the meantime, I have some breast forms still left, and some sample runs from my departed from factory, so I will get those up in the store for you at some great prices :)
First of all, I've been so happy with hearing how well you've got on with my boobylicous tape, so thank you for all the emails that have helped me see that it was worth the effort of introducing this tape :) It is such a hard balance with tape, with creating the right ratio of stick to not causing discomfort or problems when removing tape. I will never get that balance right for all people, as everyone has different skin types etc and I'd rather be cautious, but your emails show me that the tape has been really helpful to many people and has really opened up the ability to wear less supportive bras and to go bra-less in many cases. I hope I've got a great balance, and the feedback has been really positive so I am so pleased.
You may have also noticed that I've grown the range of tapes that I have, thanks to your feedback. I was approached by many customers asking for a sheet that is bigger, so that it can be cut down exactly to size or trimmed around a smaller breast form or enhancer for the perfect fit. As a result, I introduced my A6 size sheet. For those of you not so familiar with the paper size concept, it's a postcard size of 10cm by 15cm.
I also introduced the strips in normal and wider size of 2.5cm. I love to give you flexibility and choice, as it seems that some customers prefer to use one wider strip rather than 2 thinner ones for some bras/enhancers and this ultimately offers better value. Some enhancers are too small for the wider tape and only need the one narrow strip, so by offering both you can choose exactly what you'd like.
I've also got the discs in 8cm and 11cm sizes, which are perfect for the different size breast forms.
The next step is for me to see if I can get it to release better from the clear backing side, as I know that some of you do struggle to get that side off. I will be working with the factory to see if they can make the tape release easier for you when I do my next big production run of the tape.
Whilst writing this, I've also thought of another thing that might help you...the introduction of a sample pack. If you are going to use the tape then it can be tough to know which would be best I should imagine, especially now I have so much choice with 2 sizes of strips, 2 of discs and the sheet. I know some of you use a combination for the bigger breast forms, so offering a selection pack with a few of each type would perhaps be useful. I'll put together some packs with some of each in, so you can try the different types rather than having to commit straight away to one type of boobylicious tape. I'll get on to working out the best numbers of each for the pack and the price and pop it in the store asap!
Just to let you know that I am making website changes, including my template/design.
I am trying to find a solution that works well on mobiles, tablets and desktops, and it's quite hard to make sure it displays well on all three!
Hopefully, you love the new design and as I tweak it, it will be more intuiative for the way you'd like to use the site.
If you have any problems with the site, or notice any links that are being silly and not directing you to the right place, please do let me know by emailing email@example.com or using my contact form.
I've always wondered about them, but have never been able to find one that I could customise, but now I have at last.
I run the business on my own, with some packaging help from my Mum and Dad now that they have retired, so I can't always be available to chat, but I will have it on as often as I can. If I am doing a quick job that takes me away from my computer for up to 10 minutes, ,I will pop it on that I am 'away'. If I am doing something that takes a little longer, like getting orders ready or cataloging in a delivery, I shall pop it to invisible and you can just send me a message. That way, you can decide if it is worth checking back for me if you have a quick question.
Hopefully it will be on plenty so that I can help many of you quicker than if you were waiting for an email.
Let's give it a try to see how we get on. To chat to me, you just need to click the "Let's Chat" icon down on the bottom right.
This is typically my quieter time of year, after the busy Summer period, and just before the party season starts. I use the time to do my account and the other things that have been pushed to the side during the busy time.
I also do one ALMIGHTLY stock check, and I like to put a little on. Sales of each style and colour go up and down due to lots of factors, but when I've done my big stock check and I know which I've got plenty of, I like to put them on sale for you. There is a mixture of breast enhancers, breast forms, tape and nipple covers in the sale.
Hopefully this gives you some brightness in these dark days!
This time around, I've put them all in one sale category as well, so you can see exactly what is on sale.
You may also notice that it is a strange amount to be on sale by, 11%. This is because this year is my 11th running my lovely little shop full time. Yay! What better way to both remember that and celebrate, than with an 11% sale.
I just thought I'd let you know about my recent exchange with The Dating Show live, so you can learn more about my values and goals as a company,
I received this email from them:
I am trying to reach out to see if our upcoming event is of interest to you?
Exclusively featuring First Dates who will be running a Cafe over the two days, 24th/25th November 2018, we are the largest and first of this size in the world when it comes to dating events, at an expected footfall of 10'000 singles hoping to meet and mingle over the two days at the Birmingham NEC.
We have the fantastic Hilton Hotels,Hasbro Games, Capital Radio, Love Hearts, Mr Tinder (the most right swiped guy in the UK!),Melinda Messenger, and a lot of unique businesses from a hemp company, to up and coming makeup brands etc on board, we are keen to ensure there is also not numerous stands exhibiting similar products or services to each other.
We also have a couple of big dating/relationship/fashion/lifestyle bloggers, authors also are involved, which is fantastic in terms of promotion through social media!
Please do get back to me if you wished to have a chat about the event and it possibly being of a good fit for you and Jo Thornton?
It sounds like fun doesn't it, and great for people who want to get out there and meet new people. I'm certainly very intrigued by Mr Tinder. Does he just go on non-stop dates?!
Still, it's not the right fit for me and what I am trying to achieve for my little shop. This was my reply:
Thank you very much for your email and your interest in my little store.
I don't think that it's the best move for me and the women at your event, even though commercially it is I'm sure! I just don't like to place my products somewhere that implies that women need them to achieve dates/be attractive. I prefer to market them for women's own confidence in themselves independently, balancing uneven breasts, filling out clothes that no longer fit, for use with post breastfeeding and mastectomy needs etc. Of course many women want to wear them for first dates, to improve their confidence, but I don't personally feel comfortable marketing them somewhere that implies that I feel all women should wear them for a first date.
Again, thank you for the email and I wish the show all the best :)
I'm not sure if they will understand, but hopefully they will. I'm sure they have plenty of other stores that are very excited to be invited and many others they can approach. It's lovely as a very small store to be contacted about these things, but until it's a show that is exclusively about the various elements of women's confidence and life experiences, it will always be a "thank you so much but no thank you" from me.
If you are single and ready to mingle though, head to Birmingham in November!
Following on from my last post, just a little update to let you know I am currently making some videos for the breast enhancer range. These will be a little introduction to each style, with more photos and some movie footage, along with some key points about the style, set to music.
I hope they are going to be helpful to you :) I will no doubt keep tinkering with them and adding more content, but I hope the extra photos they show will help you to get a greater understanding of each of the styles. You will also be able to view the videos for all the styles in one place on my You Tube channel.